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Poker rules – Learn the Poker rules and dominate the tables

How would you like to kick start your poker adventure right about now? Learning the ropes of poker isn’t as difficult as most people think. For a lot of people, understanding poker rules is where the challenge lies, but for you, that will not be the case because you’ve come to the right place. On this page, you’ll learn diverse poker rules that can be applied to popular poker variations like Seven card stud, Omaha, 2-7 Triple Draw, Texas Hold’em and many more. You will also discover poker strategy and common poker terms such as action, bluff, bankroll, etc. Our main goal is that this write up will help move you from the beginners level to become highly ranked in top online poker sites. If you want this as well, then keep reading. Read more

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online poker

Different poker hands

The poker rules for every variation of the game of poker has the same hierarchy of poker hands. It is easier for players to obtain lesser hands, while better hands are rare to find. Poker cards come with a ranking of best to worst. When two players achieve the same hand, in most cases, the rank of a card will be used to break the tie. The most valuable card is the Ace and it descends from there in this order: King, Queen, Jack, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2.

Royal Flush

This poker hand is considered to be the best and rarest. It is made up of the following cards: A, K, Q, J, 10, of the same suit.

royal flush

Straight Flush

Here is an example of a straight flush: 9, 10, J, Q, K. It consists of five consecutive cards that originate from the same suit.

straight flush

Four of a Kind

This speaks of great luck for any player in possession of them. A player who is able to obtain four cards of a given number, indeed has a powerful hand. Example: 9, 9, 9, 9, 5.

four of a kind

Full house

A player is said to have a full house when he has three-of-a-kind and a pair in the same hand. Example: 9, 9, 9, 5, 5.

full house


A flush occurs when the hand of a player consists of five cards that are of the same suit. If a flush is obtained by two players, the winner is the player with the highest card in that suit. Example: 9, 5, Q, K, 7.



This is a five card hand that are all in sequence, regardless of suit. For two players who have straights, the winner will be the person with the straight of the higher card. Example: 9, 10, J, Q, K.


Three of a kind

Three of a kind, sometimes referred to as trips or a set, is a hand that is made up of three cards of one rank or two cards of two other ranks. Example: 9, 9, 9, 5, 8.

three of a kind

Two Pair

When two pairs are obtained by more than one player, the person with the highest pair is declared the winner. Example: 9, 9, 5, 5, 8.

two pair

A Pair

One pair comes into play the moment a player gets two of any of the same cards. Example: 9, 9, 5, 8, K. It ranks above high card and below two pairs.


High Card

When no combination is possible, the highest single card will determine the value of the player's hand. If the same high card is possessed by two players, the second highest card will be used to break the tie. Example: 5, 8, 10, Q, A.

high card

How a regular poker games unfold

If you want to understand the poker rules, then you’ve come to the right place. This section covers all the basic information on how poker is played. The accepted number of players in the game of poker is between 2-10 players.

To start the game of poker, every player is dealt 2 cards face down by the dealer. The first player next to the dealer will place a small ante (small blind) which is mostly half of the usual minimum bet. Another ante, albeit a bigger one (referred to as big blind), will be placed by the player left of the small blind.

After each player has gotten 2 cards from the dealer, the betting round commences. It begins with the player on the left hand side of the big blind and moves in a clockwise direction. After the betting is done, the dealer will place 3 cards face up in the middle of the table, known as the community cards. Players are to use them to strengthen their hand.

Two more rounds will follow after this, with the introduction of two more cards in between (turn card and river card). The last round of the game begins after the dealer introduces the river card. Once the last round of betting is over, a showdown will start to determine the winner of the game, if more than one player remains at this point.

Best rated poker hands

The highest ranked poker hand is a royal flush, followed by a straight flush, then four of a kind, full house, then flush, straight, three of a kind, two pair, one pair and high card.

What is a blind bet?

A blind bet is a forced bet made by players who are to the left of the dealer. Blinds are usually two in number but sometimes, it can be between zero to three.

The difference between limit and no-limit

In a limit game, players have the luxury of either saving or making an extra big bet, while in a no-limit game, the game is urged forward by implied odds.

  • What is a pot-limit?

A pot-limit is a betting structure that allows a player to bet or raise any amount within the range of the minimum bet and current pot size.

  • What is a fixed-limit?

Fixed-limit is a betting structure whereby the amount of all bets and raises in a specific betting round is fixed. Fixed-limit games usually have two bet sizes, the small and big bets.

live poker

The action

Action has to do with activities that take place during the game of poker. This includes the different betting options like bet, raise, call and fold.

Check: A check means that the action moves over to the player seated to the left without making any wager. This occurs only when someone is yet to make a bet on the current street.

Fold: Fold is an act of discarding one’s hand and letting go of any interest in the current pot. The player will not be required to make any more bets.

Bet: Bet refers to any money that is wagered in the course of playing a hand. It can also mean the opening bet of a betting round or the standard betting amount in a fixed limit game.

Raise: To raise is an action undertaken by a player to increase the size of an existing bet in a particular betting round. A raise must equal the amount of the prior bet or raise.

Call: A player calls when he wants to match a bet or a raise. If the bet or raise of a player receives no call from his opponents, the player wins the pot.

The betting rounds

A betting round begins after players are dealt the first two cards (hole cards) in the poker game. A betting round comes to a close when all active players have made equal bets or folded to a bet or raise of another player.

Preflop: Preflop simply means “before the flop”. Preflop are bets that are made before any community cards are dealt by the dealer. The initial betting round is known as preflop.

Flop: Flop is common in poker variants that use community cards. It is the act of dealing the first three face up cards to the board and can also be used to refer to the cards themselves.

Turn: The turn or fourth street is a single community card that is dealt at the end of the flop betting round. Following the turn is a third betting round.

River: River or fifth street is the last card dealt to usher in the last round of the game. The player with the highest ranked hand wins the pot in the end.

Table stakes

Table stakes is a poker rule that states that a player is not allowed to bet an amount greater than they had on the table at the start of that hand. Meaning that a player is not allowed to increase their wager amount once a hand has been dealt.

Now you have the basic rules under your belt – get ready to play!

All the most common poker terms

For you to actively participate in a game of poker, you must be familiar with not just the poker rules but also the common poker terms. This will allow you to communicate effectively and also understand what’s going on at the table. The poker glossary below will help fine-tune your poker vocabulary.


Action: Action has to do with a player making a bet when it’s their turn to play.
Action card: A common card that incites great activity due to how beneficial it is to different participants.
Advertising: A deliberate act to mislead or confuse an opponent with a certain playing style.
All in: Betting everything a player has.
Ante: The forced bet that takes place prior to the commencement of the betting round.


Bank: The player tasked with the distribution of chips.
Bankroll: The total amount available for gameplay.
Big blind: The second forced bet and the biggest.
Bleed: The loss of many chips due to bad playing.
Bluff: A huge bet made with a bad hand with the intention of confusing an opponent.


Call: To raise or match a bet
Cap: The number of times a bet is allowed to be raised in a round.
Chase: To continue with the round despite having a bad hand because of the large amount you have in the pool.
Check: To forego an opportunity with plans to make the next bet
Continuation bet: To make a similar bet to that of the leading player.


Dead hand: A dropped hand due to an error.
Dealer: An individual who deals cards.
Deuce: A card possessing the value of two.
Donkey: A player whose gambling skill is weaker than that of other players. This player is also referred to as fish.
Drop: Another word for “fold”.


Flash: A flash is a situation whereby a card is mistakenly shown to a player or more, and as a consequence, must be revealed to the rest of the players before being discarded.
Float: To call a bet for the sole purpose of bluffing in another round.
Fold: To drop a hand and thereby lose the chance of competing for the pool.
Fouled hand: A discarded hand as a result of a breach.
Full ring: A game of poker that has 6 or more players, usually up to 9 or 11 players.


Heads up poker: A game that features a 1 on 1 session.
H.O.R.S.E.: A tournament where 5 different poker games can be played. Each game has its own rules.


Pat: A complete hand without any need for additional cards from the table.
Poker face: A body language and facial expression that makes the player’s position difficult to decipher.
Pot: All the bets made by players.
Push: To initiate an All-in.


Raccoon: A poker player who is bad or inexperienced.
Rake: Fees paid by players to the casino in order to take part in the tournament.
Rakeback: An amount of money returned to a player after paying for the tournament. This money is often made available by a third party with financial interest in the player.
River: The last card issued by the dealer in a round. This is followed by the last betting round and a showdown, if necessary.
Rock: A player who plays the game rigorously. The player only focuses his gameplay on the best hands.
Royal cards: This is another word for picture cards.


Satellite tournament: This is a tournament that awards winners with a ticket that grants entry into bigger tournaments.
Scoop: A scoop is when a player manages to win both the high and low part of the pool in a poker game of Hi/Lo
Shoe: An accumulation of playing cards held in a plastic container in physical casino.
Shorthanded: A game that has just 6 players or less.
Showdown: A continuation after the last betting round to determine the winner of the game if more than one player remains.
Sit and go: A table or game that allows players to come and go as they please within a certain time period.
Straddle bet: This bet is optional and occurs after blind bets take place.


Tell: A hint to what the true position of a player is.
Tilt: A player who gambles recklessly.
Toke: A tip given to the dealer by the winner of the pool.


Under the gun: This refers to the participant situated on the left side of the big blind. This player take the initiative in the preflop betting round.
Up the ante: When the forced bets are raised.


Window card: A card in a stud poker with its frontside upward.
Walk: This happens when all players decide to fold just for big blind.


Frequently asked questions about poker rules

What is the most common poker game?

The most common poker game is Texas Hold'em. This game is played always in the World Series of Poker. In the game, players are dealt two hole cards and an additional 5 community cards later.

Is there a difference between fixed and no-limit?

Yes, in a no-limit game, a player is free to bet or raise up to any amount in a betting round. While in a fixed-limit game, a player can bet, raise or call but within the confines of a fixed amount.

Can someone wager more than I have?

Yes, but it isn't disadvantageous to you. If a player has more money than you, it doesn't mean you will be booted out of the pot simply because you can't afford to call his bet.

Can I buy chips during a game and avoid going all-in?

Yes, you can buy more chips as the game is ongoing but they will be worthless to you until that betting round is over. Even if you win the game with the extra chips still in your possession, they will be taken away and their value will be returned to your balance.

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